Belinda N. Mandrell, PhD, MSN, RN | Authors

Secondary Breast Cancer in a Woman Treated for Hodgkin Lymphoma as a Child

October 01, 2007

Overall survival of Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is 90%; however, survival decreases with time owing to late complications, including subsequent malignancy. Female survivors of pediatric HL have increased morbidity and mortality associated with secondary effects of radiation therapy, most specifically the development of secondary breast cancer. It is estimated that female HL survivors have a 35- to 75-fold excess risk of developing breast cancer, with the greatest risk occurring 15 to 20 years after initial diagnosis. This risk time frame is more than 20 years before the median age (61 years) of breast cancer diagnosis among the general population. This equates to an HL survivor reaching the cumulative lifetime incidence of breast cancer by 40 years of age when compared with the general population.